Easy-Going Tips for a Smooth Ride with Your Pet

April 11 is National Pet Day 4 photos
Photo: Stellantis
Pets in carsPets in carsPets in cars
Nowadays, an increasing number of people like to take their beloved animal companions along for the ride. According to a survey by the American Automobile Association, over 80 percent of pet owners drive with their animals in the car - and that's because for most of them pets are family, and family doesn’t get left behind. Even if a journey with a furry friend can be at times troublesome.
April 11 is when Americans celebrate National Pet Day, and given how cars, vans and other means of transportation are a significant part of the creatures' lives, car companies love to get involved. But there's only so much they can do, and it's up to the rest of us to ensure a smooth and safe ride for our pets.

We all know that traveling with a dog or a cat can be a hassle. Pets are restless, and it’s hard to burst their moody bubble. To keep them happy and content and out of your way while driving, there are a few simple steps that need to be taken into account before embarking for a long ride.

First, travel conditions - be sure that the temperature in the car is comfortable. Animals do not necessarily sweat as we humans do, so it is necessary to keep the air cool. If you go on a long trip and feel the need to stop on your way, don’t forget your pet inside, especially during the summertime when temperatures can reach scorching values inside the car. On the other hand, during winter, the vehicle can turn into a refrigerator if you leave it unattended for an extended period, so make sure always to carry some blankets for emergencies.

Pets in cars
When it comes to accomodation, one simple choice is to use transport boxes, which are available in many different designs depending on the animal’s type and size. But being cramped up in an obscure tight space would make anyone claustrophobic, and I can assure you, pets make no exception.

So you might consider leaving it free (but otherwise restrained) on the back seats. In that case, putting a net between the front and rear rows of seats as a delimitation is another way of keeping your pets safe.

We would advise against having your pet up close and personal in the front seat, but if for some reason you choose to do this, it is recommended to turn off the airbag from the passenger side. Finding a way to restrain them is also recommended, as the cage or the animal can be projected into the dashboard if you hit on the brakes too abruptly.

Snacks are a must when going on a long ride. After all, who doesn’t love food? From time to time, give a treat to your dog, your cat, or why not, your bird, and they will turn into the most well-behaved buddies: no fuss, no jumping, no barking, no meowing.

Pets in cars
Remember, these are animals we're talking about, and things will tend to get messy. That's where a vacuum comes in and makes it more than convenient to clean up our pets’ accidents. If your car doesn’t come with an incorporated vacuum, you might consider bringing your own, provided that you have one already. If not, no worries, you can place some mats in the back row to protect your seat cover.

Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the time spent with your furry four-legged friend. Driving with your pet should not be considered boring or tedious, so relax and try to have fun, and also remember: safety first.
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About the author: Florina Spînu
Florina Spînu profile photo

Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
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